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Construction Defect Experts

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Excerpted from Verdicts & Settlements
Verdicts & Settlements (front page), December 12, 1997

EXPERT EASE

OPINION: Construction defect experts provide lists of failures in preparation for litigation, and counsel must verify reports for accuracy.

By Michael Solender


In law Practice, attorneys occasionally transmit documents that are incomplete or incorrect. In construction defects cases, where experts are employed to prepare lists of defects with costs of remediation, submission of incorrect or incomplete information may preclude later submission of revised documents. This can cut funding for remediation.

 Identification of defects and their causes is subject to interpretation by inspectors or experts, but the central question is whether the alleged defect results from Inadequate blueprint or specification details, poor workmanship, defective materials, deviation from manufacturers installation recornmendations, or improper maintenance.

 Once the source is identified, the next step is designing a remediation plan to support a cost breakdown for repair.

 The four elements of costing repair are:

 * What's the problem?

* Is it a construction defect?

* What is the best method of remediation?

* How frequently does the defect occur?

 While investigating defects, hidden problems sometimes go undetected.

 When calculating the frequency of a defect's occurrence, it is proper to examine all areas where problems have been reported by non‑professionals to exist. To extrapolate for statistical accuracy, all samples must be randomly selected.

Attorneys rely on experts to compile accurate and complete defects lists, and expert work product overseen by a third party ensures accuracy. Counsel should question experts to verify reports for accuracy so that the data interpretation can withstand critical scrutiny.

 Counsel must also examine the credentials of all construction defects experts for practical field experience as well as academic training.

 An experienced expert is a costly commodity. Should an expert lack the necessary experience, it can be costly.


MORE ARTICLES:

- THE CONSTRUCTION-EXPERT INDUSTRY: NEW DEVELOPMENTS

- CONSTRUCTION EXPERT CAN BUILD, OR DESTROY, A CASE

- EXPERTS CAN RESOLVE THE CONSTRUCTION CONUNDRUM
   Standard Construction Seldom Is Really Standard

- IN CONSTRUCTION CASES, BEWARE THE HIRED GUN

- THE COMPOUND CONSEQUENCE OF ONE SMALL
   DISCERNABLE LEAK INTO THE BUILDING ENVELOPE

- THE PANDORA'S BOX OF WATER INTRUSION LITIGATION

- CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS:
  How To Avoid the 'Big Hit' And Costly Litigation

- BUILDING A REMEDY

- WATER TORTURE

- THE WATCHER
   A third party may be helpful in monitoring the expert when figuring
   the cost of repairs

- KNOW-HOW
   A general contractor should have knowledge in related
construction areas to be effective as an expert witness

- EXPERT EASE
  OPINION: Construction defect experts provide lists of failures in
  preparation for litigation, and counsel must verify reports for accuracy

- MAKE READY
  Properly prepared expert witnesses will save both time and money.

- ON THE WATCH

- THE NUMBERS


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